Arsenal have reportedly approached Shakhtar Donetsk with their opening bid for Ukrainian attacker Mykhaylo Mudryk.
The 21-year-old is understood to be at the top of the Gunners’ January wishlist after coming up with 10 goals and eight assists from 18 matches so far this term.
Mudryk is also believed to be keen on a move to the Emirates, and Arsenal are already said to have reached an agreement in principle with the player over personal terms.
However, Shakhtar have proven to be difficult negotiators so far, with director Darijo Srna publicly valuing the attacker at a whopping €100m (£88.1m), and his contract is not due to expire until December 2026.
Srna’s comments are not expected to deter Arsenal’s interest, though, and The Athletic now claims that the Premier League leaders have submitted a proposal to Shakhtar.
The report claims that Arsenal have offered a total package worth €65m (£57.3m), which would see the Gunners pay €40m (£35.2m) up front and a further €25m (£22m) in add-ons.
Arsenal’s offer is expected to be rejected by Shakhtar, but there is supposedly confidence from the Gunners’ side that a January deal can be struck for less than Srna’s public valuation.
Mudryk has worn the Shakhtar colours since 2016 and has now made 44 appearances for the senior team in all competitions, scoring 12 goals and setting up 17 more.
The versatile attacker has already won one Ukrainian Cup with his current side and has eight senior caps for Ukraine, featuring alongside current Arsenal left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Arsenal increased their lead at the top of the Premier League table to seven points over Newcastle United with a 3-1 win over West Ham United on Boxing Day, and Mudryk showed on social media that he was watching the game.
…sounds like one more goal for Arsenal as Mykhaylo Mudryk is watching the game and posting on Instagram ⚪️🔴👀🇺🇦 #AFC
Clear message. Mudryk wants Arsenal move while club are in negotiations. pic.twitter.com/A4F2SUofoI
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 26, 2022
Manager Mikel Arteta was unsurprisingly asked about the Mudryk rumours in his post-game press conference, but he remained as tight-lipped as ever, saying: “You know that I never speak about players who are not with us.
“I understand that you have to ask me the question. We said that we will try and find ways to strengthen the team [if] we find the right players and that’s what I can say.”
When questioned on Mudryk watching Monday’s win over West Ham, Arteta added: “The good thing in England is that you don’t have many other matches in other countries at Christmas so hopefully a lot of people watched our game and we gave them a good show.”
Goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah – leading the line in the absence of the injured Gabriel Jesus – saw Arsenal come from behind to sink London rivals West Ham, who went ahead in the first half through Said Benrahma‘s penalty.
The Gunners, who next face Brighton & Hove Albion on Boxing Day, could have their lead cut back down to five points if Manchester City get the better of Leeds United on Wednesday evening.